How To Properly Clean Your Prosthetic Limb

If you own a prosthetic limb, it's important you that you properly care and clean your prosthetic limb to ensure it remains in excellent condition. Here is your guide to caring for different parts of your prosthetic limb, avoiding infection of your amputated limb, and ensuring you don't permanently damage it.

Use Your Prosthesis Properly

In most cases, your prosthesis shouldn't be exposed to water, as water can damage or warp certain parts of your prosthetic limb. You should also avoid sports that can put unnecessary strain on your prosthetic limb.

Cleaning Your Socket

One of the most important areas of your prosthetic limb to keep clean is the socket. You should try to clean it on a daily basis, using an antibacterial wipe or simply a solution of soap and water. Be sure the cloth isn't soaking wet, or the water will drip on to more sensitive components of your prosthesis.

Wipe away any excess moisture with a dry towel and then let your prosthesis dry overnight.

Cleaning Your Liner

Failing to clean the liner can cause serious hygiene problems for prosthesis owners. This inner gel coating of your liner inside your prosthesis is in constant contact with the skin, meaning daily cleaning is necessary. Before doing the following instructions, check the care instructions that came with your prosthesis to ensure you don't damage your prosthetic limb while cleaning it.

  • First, turn your liner inside out so the gel part is facing the outside. In most circumstances, you can clean your liner with some antibacterial soap and some warm water.
  • Afterwards, dry your liner with a lint-free cloth, turn it right side out, and let it air dry overnight. You should spray your liner once a week with some isopropyl alcohol spray to kill of any harmful bacteria that might potentially grow.

If you have two liners, you should switch between them, as this will extend their life. Avoid using newspapers and getting ink on your liners or any other silicone areas of your prosthesis, as this can lead to permanent stains.

Other Helpful Tips

You should never adjust the mechanical parts of your prosthesis, as this can cause damage that will void your warranty. Instead, have your prosthesis checked on a regular basis by your prosthetist.

Ultimately, without proper prosthesis hygiene, your skin may suffer from infections or damage, and your prosthetic limb may begin to emit foul odors. If you notice any redness, swelling or rashes developing, you should contact your prosthetist or dermatologist for an appointment. In most cases, if you properly clean your prosthetic device, you should be able to avoid hygiene issues and keep your prosthesis looking great.